The last of SGA’s monthly legislature meetings is this Thursday, wrapping up the year with cookies and sandwiches provided.
At the end of the spring 2018 term, SGA ratified a new constitution. Part of that constitution introduced legislator meetings, which are monthly meetings that a representative or legislator from every student organization on campus must attend, or have their funding/ability to apply to Co-Op cut.
SGA has long been struggling to connect with its constituents with the lack of attendance from the student body in SGA meetings. The legislator meetings have been the first time people who are not a part of SGA are consistently coming to meetings.
However, these meetings are a failed attempt at a great idea. Crowded, unproductive meetings are not the way to bring campus organizations together, and certainly not worth cutting funding over.
There is no need to call for abolition, but there is a need for drastic reform.
Why does every single organization come to one meeting rather than dividing groups up throughout the month? Why is SGA not being more proactive in sponsoring and attending other groups events, but threatening to defund organizations who do not obey?
The meetings have been about things such as how to order food from Chartwells, how to reserve a space, and how to apply for Cooperative Funding (Co-Op). This may be great for new organizations who may not be familiar with the existing processes, but certainly not necessary for everyone.
This year, organizations, including SGA, faced extreme cuts to their budget, and unfunded organizations are facing harsher Co-Op guidelines than they have in the recent past. Is additional pressure really the best SGA can do to better our campus?
SGA is using strong arm politics to blackmail people into attending something they simply do not care about. We get it. Student apathy has been one of the biggest issues on this campus since forever, and there has not really been an effective solution for it. But bad politics is bad politics, and this method is simply not working nor does it promote unity.
Disorganization is the enemy of all student organizations. Whether it is within the organization, whether it is conflicting programming with other groups, or even just poor marketing. However, it is not impossible to beat.
Just last week, every Greek organization worked together with Student Affairs to organize one cohesive week of programming. The cultural identity groups have been doing the same through the Coalition of Multicultural Engagement.
There are models on this campus of what true unity among organizations can look like, and none of them involve threats of cutting budgets. Not only does SGA have examples to learn from, they also have the resources to do better. What they do not have is an excuse for wasting our time thus far, and that needs to be changed.